Korean court reaches split decision, but Apple found guilty of infringing two Samsung patents

Korean court reaches split decision, but Apple found guilty of infringing two Samsung patents

Samsung’s trial with Apple may be ongoing in the US, but the company has scored an early success in its home market of South Korea, where a court has ruled that Apple infringed on two of the company’s patents, The Wall Street Journal reports. Apple also notched a win with its “bounceback” design patent, but both rulings appear to be a slap on the wrist, as damages are only in the tens of thousands of dollars.

A three-judge panel found Apple to have infringed on two of Samsung’s patents and ruled that the company must stop selling its infringing products in South Korea. Apple may not actually be significantly affected by the decision, however, as WSJ reporter Evan Ramstad noted that most of the affected products, which include the iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4 and the first and second- generation iPad, are no longer sold in Korea and the damage awards against both companies are relatively small.

Samsung has also been ordered to stop sales of infringing products, but the affected devices are older models, rather than its current generation.

Ramstad said in an initial take on the rulings, which took up 550 pages, that the penalties were light and unlikely to affect the “global battle”.

Korea’s Chosun reports that Apple was fined a total of $35,000 (40 million won) for infringing the two patents, while Samsung was fined $22,000 (25 million won) for infringing on Apple’s “bounceback” patent, which describes the process for snapping a page back into place when a user scrolls past the edge. The iPhone maker was found not to have infringed on three out of five patents, while Samsung was let off the hook on Apple’s “slide to unlock” technology and a rounded corner design patent.

Though Samsung had indicated last year that it would not pursue legal action against Apple in Korea, it filed suit against its competitor in March of this year. The electronics maker’s Galaxy smartphones have held their own against the iPhone on its home turf, but its Galaxy tablets have not fared as well against the iPad, which has reportedly captured as much as 80 percent of the market there.

Back in the US, the jury has begun deliberating on the Apple v. Samsung main event, that is the trial that is expected to have the most impact on either company’s business. The two companies wrapped up their respective cases with closing arguments earlier in the week.

 Developing, refresh for updates…

Header image via Flickr / nez

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